Pushing the boat out for love at Ramsgate RNLI
Ramsgate RNLI volunteer crew member Harry Hughes went on a training exercise with a difference recently as it saw him wading ashore to deliver a proposal of marriage to his girlfriend.
Weeks of planning had gone into the surprise, with help from Harry’s RNLI crew mates at Ramsgate lifeboat station and good friends Mark Gull and Ciara Watts.
Whilst Mark and Ciara took Mark’s girlfriend Kerry Ewer for a walk on the beach, Harry was out on an exercise on the inshore lifeboat. On board he had a big banner asking Kerry to marry him, which was raised as they approached the shore to the delight of holiday makers and locals catching the last of the evening sun on a beautiful Thursday evening (19 April).
Harry then waded ashore, dropped to one knee in front of a slightly embarrassed Kerry and asked her to marry him. Thankfully she said yes, much to the delight of the onlookers on the beach who applauded and cheered loudly.
After a quick embrace Harry then returned to the inshore lifeboat and sped back to finish the exercise. The happy couple, who have known each other for over 10 years, plan to get married next year after the birth of their baby.
Harry has been with Ramsgate RNLI for a year, but had been with Dover RNLI for the previous ten years. He volunteered as shore crew at the age 16, and then became volunteer boat crew when he turned 20 reaching the level of deputy mechanic before moving to Ramsgate RNLI.
Just two hours later, Harry’s celebrations with his family were cut short when his pager went off, although thankfully it turned out to be a good intentioned but false alarm.
An RNLI spokesman said that without volunteers like Harry, and thousands of others like him, the RNLI would not be able to fulfil its role of saving lives at sea. The RNLI is entirely funded by donations.
RNLI media contacts
Karen Cox, Volunteer RNLI Press Officer, Ramsgate on 07779 848431 firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825 email@example.com
For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.